Standards, Rules & Guidance

As an AHCS CRP registrant you are expected to abide by the following standards:

  • Standards of Proficiency for CRPS
  • The Scope of Practice for CRPS
  • Standards for Continuing Professional Development

It is important that you read through all the documentation for each of the standards as you join the register for the first time and remain familiar with the contents in the maintenance of your registration.  Registration is a commitment to complying with these Standards. For more detailed information on the individual standards please see the sections below.

Standards of Proficiency for CRPs

These Standards of Proficiency set out the minimum standard that a person must meet in order to first register and maintain registration with the Academy for Healthcare Science (the Academy).

There are 16 standards for CRPs, which fall into one of the following 2 key areas:

  • Professional responsibility (standards 1-6)
  • Behaviours, Knowledge and Skills – (Standards 7 -16)

You are also advised to familiarise yourself with the Registration RulesAHCS Fitness to Practise procedure and related documentation,  and the Terms and Conditions of your registration.

The Terms and Conditions of registration can be found by logging into your AHCS registration account and reading the declaration section of your application. This includes but is not limited to your commitments to:

  • Continuing Professional Development to keep my practise up-to-date, safe and effective; and understanding that I may be required to submit this information within 21 days, on request by the Registrar, and provide any other evidence as may reasonably be required;
  • Understanding and complying with the standards expected as a condition of registration
  • Informing the Academy for Healthcare Science of any change to the information I have provided within four weeks of the change, including, but not limited to, changes in name, home address, email address, employer and those related to my good character and health self-declaration;
  • Confirming that you are covered by professional indemnity insurance, either by my employer’s scheme or other appropriate insurance.

Scope of Practice for CRPs

The scope of practice is described for Clinical Research Practitioners working as members of the research delivery workforce. The Scope of Practice document outlines a scope of practice for Clinical Research Practitioners (CRPs) working in the delivery of research in the NHS and other health and social care settings. The CRP role involves direct contact with study participants and the term ‘registered Clinical Research Practitioner’ refers to eligible practitioners working at autonomous practitioner level, within the context of research delivery, wherever that research occurs. All Clinical Research Practitioners will be expected to monitor and deliver care and be aware of care that is planned and implemented by others.

Standards of Continuing Professional Development

It is a requirement for everyone registered with the Academy for Healthcare Science (the Academy) to ensure they maintain and develop their professional knowledge, understanding and skills to demonstrate their continued fitness to practise.

This requirement is detailed in AHCS Standards of continuing professional development , along with further information on the following page:

Continuing Professional Development

Continuing professional development (CPD) is the way in which our registrants continue to learn and develop throughout their careers, so that they keep their knowledge and skills up to date and are able to practise safely and effectively. We set our CPD Standards that every registrant should meet, to ensure that their activities are effective.

CPD helps you maintain or develop your competence and fitness to practise, whether your development needs are:

  • for the purposes of your role or profession;
  • required by your employer;
  • required to meet a specific career goal; or
  • aspirational, to meet your own personal goals.

CPD is an important and essential requirement for registration with the Academy. If you do not maintain your CPD, you will be removed from the register.

To fulfill the requirement, as a CRP Registrant, you must:

  1. Keep a structured record of your continuing professional development (CPD) activity to evidence how you maintain and update your knowledge, understanding and skills in line with changing needs in patient care and service delivery, developments in the evidence base, technological advances, and your job role;
  2. Undertake CPD activities that are a mixture of learning activities relevant to your current or future practice;
  3. Ensure that your CPD has contributed to the quality of your professional practice;
  4. When requested and in a format specified by the Academy’s Registrar, present a CPD portfolio (a written record, with evidence, of your CPD activities and their impact on your professional practice) explaining how you have met the standards for CPD.

Each year, we audit a random sample of our registrants to make sure our standards are being met. If you are selected for CPD audit, we will write to you and ask you to send us information showing how you have met the CPD standards over the previous two years. The AHCS Registration Rules  also allow for the AHCS Registrar to send a notice to a Registrant, at any time, requiring them to submit their continuing professional development record to the Council for inspection within 21 days  of the notice.

Full information can be found in the AHCS Standards of continuing professional development . AHCS has also produced he AHCS CPD Guide  offers guidance of how to keep a record of your CPD activities and the types of activity that are acceptable.

The following documents are also relevant to your registration:

* Developed in collaboration with NIHR Clinical Research Network colleagues, this quick reference table offers suggested criteria that may be useful in making an evaluation of evidence being put forward as part of your portfolio of evidence to join the CRP Accredited Register.

Please see the below, these need to be completed and uploaded into your Portfolio:


Monthly Drop in Session’s

The Academy runs monthly drop-in sessions for Clinical Research Practitioners who would like to know more about the Directory or PSA Accredited Register.

This is your opportunity to find out more about the application process, portfolios, writing reflections, or any other queries you may have.

You are welcome to join when you can, within the hour. This is not a formal meeting, rather an opportunity for you to ask a quick question and have your answer straight away.

The NIHR Clinical Research Network supports a network of local CRP engagement leads and you will find further information on the NIHR CRP Community website.

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